£250,000 letter of offer for Victoria Hall warmly welcome

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The provision of a letter of offer of £250,000 for the refurbishment of the old Victoria Hall in Culmore has been warmly welcomed.

Sinn Féin Councillor, Sandra Duffy, said the Culmore Community Partnership project was ‘a beacon of light - an example of what groups working together on a cross-community and multi-cultural basis can do to break down barriers and promote peace-building and reconciliation’.

SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins said it paved the way for the development of a much needed community hub.

Both were speaking after the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) released a letter of offer for a quarter-of-a-million pounds towards the project.

Colr. Duffy said: “The plan is to develop the hall into a vibrant community hub providing much-needed rural services around the village of Culmore. Brought forward by CCP, the community hub will become the venue for a vital advice and mobile services unit. It will provide community services to the local population, particularly the older residents, including advice on health, finance, benefits, and employment.

“It will also provide a base from which to assist the development of local groups as they positively engage with residents by breaking down isolation and providing new opportunities and experiences in the arts, sport and local history. The community hub will also be an inclusive, welcoming and accessible space for cultural, educational, cross-community and social activities.”

Colr. Dobbins said: “This is a really good news story and I am relieved that the final pieces of the funding jigsaw from Rural Development Programme and Council in relation to Victoria Hall have finally been pieced together. The community can now move forward with the Victoria Hall venture and work should commence soon to refurbish it to a much needed community hub. At the last full Council meeting I proposed a letter of offer for CCP. This is sound proof that partnership works.”